I just returned from 10 days of vacation. This time, I felt I really needed the time off.
My boyfriend, Florian, and I name all of our trips before we go – and from the beginning, this vacation was called the “Grumpy burnout tour”. We had both been working crazy hours for the last few months. When we left, we felt worn out and were in bad moods.
We drove to a ski resort to hang out with friends and practice for the ski-touring class we had signed up for. On the way, I noticed how much my upper back and neck hurt; I was exhausted and I didn’t feel motivated to do anything. I told Florian that I didn’t want to talk or hear about anything related to working remotely (which is weird, because as you all know, I’m quite obsessed).
We spent three days skiing in beautiful sunny weather and sleeping a lot (averaging 10 hours a night). We then hit the road again and headed to Switzerland where we met our mountain guide and classmates. We spent four days learning about avalanche dangers, hiking up mountains on skis, and then skiing in a variety of snow conditions and through different terrains.
After a week of intense exercise, sunshine, fresh air, great food, friends, and lots of sleep, I am mentally refreshed and ready to dive back into my beloved world of remote work.
This experience has got me thinking about burnout. In a world where we’re always on, how do we better manage work-life fusion? Here are some tips that help me to avoid virtual burnout:
Moving my body and being outside seems to be one of the best things I can do for myself. I run, climb, and do yoga on a regular basis – but a whole week of skiing in the mountains with friends helped me to relax on a whole other level.
I don’t know why, but I never seem to take sleep as seriously as I know I should. Since owning my Fitbit, I’ve gotten a lot better – but sleeping so much on this vacation felt great!
Traveling helps me to see things with fresh eyes. And it also helps me to appreciate my favorite home routines and pleasures even more.
I love my work more than almost anyone I know, and I’m a big fan of work-life fusion, but I can’t deny how good it is to turn everything off and take a break every once in a while.
The last time I went on vacation, I came home and turned off all my social media notifications. During this week, I received over 250 emails – and only five of them were “important”. I immediately unsubscribed and filtered out all the clutter. Ahhhhh!
For me, having less stuff feels better. I can’t explain why exactly. When I moved from California to The Netherlands, I took only one suitcase with me. Owning so little gave me a sense of relief and freedom. Coming home with fresh eyes after traveling reminds me to get rid of unnecessary things.
I have a hard time saying no to people. I’m naturally curious and enthusiastic, and I’m driven to do as much as I can. I’m starting to recognize that saying no means that I have more time to better focus on what’s already on my plate.
What helps you avoid virtual burnout?